Underlying

A Twenty Minutes poem.

Underlying

A lot of thoughts
circulating in this room
(along with flu germs
dust flakes
dried-out hot air
and the smell of carpet cleaner)
A lot of thoughts
at odds with the spoken words
table after table of people eating lunch
are spewing out
And the room is spread thick
with layers of
peanut butter
mayonnaise
dark eyeliner
hair gel
and deception

Healthy Lunch small

“Healthy Lunch” – fabric collage, about 1998.

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15 thoughts on “Underlying

  1. Yes, I was eating lunch in a cafeteria near my husband’s work and watching all the people around…this was some time ago, and I wrote the poem last fall, too, I think, so it’s been a while, and yet that memory really stuck with me, all the layers in such an ordinary place…

  2. Thanks. Every restaurant we go to I am always looking around at who else is there, what they are doing, and so on. I know I am very nosy but I don’t intrude. I just watch the show…

  3. That’s what I was thinking when I looked over the whole room. People can’t help it. It’s what they do. Even I was, looking like some lady just sitting there, but I wasn’t, was I?

  4. I LOVE bizarre snippets of conversation and I listen everywhere. I picked up some great ones the other day as I was walking on the indoor track at my YMCA and catching what the other walkers were saying (most people walk with a friend, it seems). Because you can only get a snippet as you buzz by them. Fantastic for the imagination.

  5. A few weeks ago I was walking the dog down a street where there was a building site, and two of the workmen having a break were deep in conversation. As I walked past one of them was saying, “Yeah, it was the forces of evil.”
    I’d have loved to have heard what his friend replied.

  6. You know, I’m sort of ashamed to admit it, but I have broken in on conversations I was overhearing (I try to restrict myself to ones where the people clearly know they are being overheard) I’m not sure I could have kept going with this one. Wow! Me too.

  7. Thank you. I so appreciate your attentive reading of my work. I love really looking at what is going on around me.

    The fabric piece, I made it so long ago, I think the late 1990’s. I know it was before I had a digital camera to take a better picture of it. I love these colors and that is why I chose it.

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